Halina Rifai: The best Scottish music in 2015 you haven’t heard

Miaoux Miaoux
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HALINA Rifai examines the best Scottish music that has gone under the radar in 2015

It would be impossible for me to include every musician that I feel has gone unnoticed this yea; it has been an inspirational and interesting year for Scottish music.

The thing about 2015 is that there hasn’t been any single genre (or fad) to speak of. I’ve been charmed and entertained and moved by all types of music this year. I do, however, have to highlight some of the best albums and EPs I’ve heard, which reflects the genre-defying approach of musicians quietly working beneath the surface.

Miaoux Miaoux: School Of Velocity

Chemikal Underground Records

Julian Corrie is the Glasgow-based producer behind Miaoux Miaoux, who I first encountered back in 2009. He has produced some of the finest electronic music in the Scotland. Firmly in my top five albums of 2015, School Of Velocity is full of euphoria-driven club cuts with gut-pounding beats. The production is exquisite, and Corrie’s voice lends his music a delicate pop touch. He should be basking in the same limelight as the likes of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke.



Essential listening: Star Sickness

Admiral Fallow: Tiny Rewards

Nettwerk Records

The band’s third studio album is by far their most cohesive. The Glasgow-based sextet have evolved seamlessly from their former guise, Brother Louis Collective, to their present form, and there are plenty who shout loudly about Admiral Fallow’s merits. For all that, Tiny Rewards hasn’t had the respect it has deserved this year; it should have catapulted them to dizzying heights. Swimming through delicate sheets of elaborate textures, this is threaded by clever lyricism and superior musicianship.

Essential listening: Building As Foreign

Le Thug: Place Is

Song, By Toad Records

The Glasgow-based quartet’s first formal release is a bittersweet symphony tailore-made for shoegaze lovers. Place Is feels like a distillation of youth in all its breathlessness reverie. A record to get completely lost in, in the same way the band tend to get lost themselves.

Essential listening: Basketball Land

Best Girl Athlete: Carve Every Word

Fit Like Records

Under the tutelage of her father, Charlie S Buchan, a fixture of the folk scene in the north-east of Scotland, Katie Buchan has produced a fiercely underrated record. It was the hypnotic Leave It All Behind, a single from last year, that first struck a chord; the young Aberdonian’s soft, willowy voice sailing on the song’s gentle acoustic strum. Carve Every Word is a gateway into a charming world that disarms you with its beauty.

Essential listening: Leave It All Behind

Finn LeMarinel: Love Is Waves

Electric Honey

Rising from the ashes of math-rock band Trapped In Kansas, LeMarinel has established himself as a prodigious talent. His intricate guitar work is leavened by a gentle, almost feather-light vocal tone, and it’s these peculiar shades that make Love Is Waves a vivid, spellbinding labyrinth.

Essential listening: Love Is Waves

SEØUEL: Reykjavik

Disorder Records

Edinburgh’s Tom Nicol, formerly of Edinburgh’s Degrassi and a longtime fixture in the Scottish music scene, has made an impressive body of work as SEØUEL Working behind the scenes, Reykjavik’s flinty electronic music, which bears lots of noise and IDM influences, is thrilling stuff. The second installment of a three-part series, Reykjavik feels untamed and thoroughly strange.

Essential listening: Fear Party

• Halina Rifai is a Glasgow-based writer for Scottish music blog Podcart, http://podcart.co/